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Understanding New Media

Extending Marshall McLuhan – Second Edition


Robert K. Logan

Marshall McLuhan made many predictions in his seminal 1964 publication, Understanding Media: Extensions of Man. Among them were his predictions that the Internet would become a «global village,» making us more interconnected than television; the closing of the gap between consumers and producers; the elimination of space and time as barriers to communication; and the melting of national borders. He is also famously remembered for coining the expression «the medium is the message.» These predictions form the genesis of this updated volume by Robert K. Logan, a friend and colleague who worked with McLuhan. In this second edition of Understanding New Media Logan expertly updates McLuhan’s Understanding Media to analyze the «new media» McLuhan foreshadowed and yet was never able to analyze or experience. The book is designed to reach a new generation of readers as well as appealing to scholars and students who are familiar with Understanding Media.
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Chapter 23. Ads


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· 23 ·


“We’re on the cusp of a media revolution to end all media revolutions. The new world will be ad funded.”

—Eric Picard (2006)

Content and extension: Ads extend the psyche, as McLuhan (1964) pointed out: “The need is to make the ad include the audience experience. The product and the audience response becomes a single complex pattern” (p. 226).

Cascade: The cascade is from intention of the advertiser to the copy for the ad to the ad itself in text and image in a newspaper or magazine, in a sound bite for radio or a video commercial for television.

LOM: The ad enhances the sales of products and services, obsolesces trust, retrieves the snake oil salesman and con artist, and reverses into the infomercial and entertainment as a form of advertisement.

23.1  Advertising on Mass Media

The first forms of advertising on mass media were in newspapers and then in magazines. Advertising in newspapers took two forms, namely display ads placed throughout the newspapers and classified text-based ads displayed in ← 201 | 202 → a special section of the newspaper reserved for this purpose. The major impact of “new media” on advertising in newspapers has been the reduction in their circulation, as discussed in (21.3).

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